Monk Fruit or not?

Monk fruit sweetener: http://www.lakanto.com/. Do you approve of it? dfd14980ef60

Divya A.

Vaidya replies:

Dear Divya:  Many of my SVA followers have been asking me about Monk fruit sweetener so I got a chance to look into it. I bought some. And did some research. I have not found a single brand that simply contains the monk fruit. All I could come across are different brands that had the monk fruit extract in addition to either: Dextrose; Maltodextrine; or Erythritol. This tells me one thing for sure: that the Monk fruit itself is not sweet enough to be able to stand on its own. It actually has somewhat of a subtle bitter aftertaste that’s being masked by the additives. I know it is the big rage now because it’s promoted as a zero calorie sugar substitute that you can use exactly as regular cane sugar for your drinks, baking, etc, that will also not affect the health of those who may be type 1 or type 2 diabetics. But I suspect in a little while we are going to hear of new research that lists the side-effects of consuming the Dextrose, or Erythritol on a daily basis like that. Screenshot 2015-10-02 09.24.21

I have been giving a lot of thought to sweeteners, as they are such an important aspect of our diet, and crucial for helping us maintain physical and emotional health. And I am very happy to say that I have finally put together a truly great sweetener that will contain ZERO additives of any sort and is made purely from natural plants and ingredients, it can be used for all your daily consumption or baking needs safely, it is 100% alcohol free and totally absorb-able and digestible by the body with no residue. I will be launching it in 2 weeks. Stay tuned for more!

Top 11 Ayurvedic Properties of Rose: The Queen of Flowers

Did you know that a rose not only pacifies your sadhak pitta – even as it balances your sadhak agni – but also carries a “somnasya jana” or bliss-enhancing property in its aroma? These properties bestow upon rose its supreme position in the flower kingdom.  This is probably why our hearts open wide to love when we see or smell a rose, or when we eat its petals.

In Ayurveda, we know that sadhak pitta is the pitta subdosha that governs the emotions in the heart. It is aided by sadhak agni, the metabolic principle, sitting in the heart, that helps us “digest” and “process” emotions and thoughts. When sadhak pitta and sadhak agni are out of balance, we will tend to feel down and blue, unable to appreciate or enjoy anything. We may try hard as we can to chase away the blues, mentally listing things we know we are grateful for, our heart will not follow suit and allow us the liberating feeling of gratitude unless we balance sadhak pitta and re-ignite sadhak agni.

pink roseIn life, many times even though things maybe be going great or smooth, if our sadhak pitta is aggravated due to external circumstances – stress from work; sleep deprivation; a fatigued overworked physiology; family pressures; etc, we may feel down and lack the readiness to tackle a new day, or our projects, with zest. Things can be even more challenging in conjugal life, if one partner’s sadhak pitta is off and the other just can’t understand why he or she is not able to enjoy or appreciate…

  Aggravation of sadhak pitta is common. When sadhak pitta is aggravated, our outlook on life will remain grim and grey despite our best mental and other efforts. Or we may just not feel up to anything. Sadhak pitta aggravation takes the spark out of life.

Pacification of sadhak pitta with the proper food, or proper aroma therapy, can work wonders! By “proper” Vaidya Mishra means for us to make the best choices of least processed foods, non-synthetic scents, etc.

When sadhak pitta is aggravated, we will crave sweet and cool or cold foods. We  usually reach for the freezer door and take out the ice cream tub! If your ice cream is made with white sugar (white sugar depletes our bodies of minerals and lowers our pH bringing in more sadness!) and contains processed ingredients, flavorings, the sweet taste may pacify your sadhak pitta temporarily, but at the same time it will put out the flame of your sadhak agni. Sadhak agni is the wick which helps to fuel your sadhak pitta so that your thoughts and emotions are processed. When you eat heavy, cold, clogging foods that are processed, your sadhak agni flame goes low, and in a little while, after eating the ice cream, you will experience a new low and even though you will feel immediate joy from eating the sweet and cold ice cream, after a little while, you will crash. You may then crave more ice cream, and then crash again. At the end of the day, your sadness will be coupled with guilt at eating so much ice cream!

We need to fan the sadhak agni flame and keep it up and running in order to maintain our daily joy.  So when you are down and out, it’s important to not reach out for that chocolate bar or the ice cream, instead choose fresh juicy fruits. Or run  yourself a nice hot water bath with rose essential oil. Or apply rose oil on your wrists and inhale. Or inhale the rose aroma with Vaidya’s portable aroma inhalers. Or have a spoonful of SVA rose petal preserve.

Making preserve out of rose petals is an old tradition in many cultures. In India, in the Middle East, as well as Europe. In India, rose preserve is very popular and is called: Gulkand.

Vaidya Mishra has carefully formulated his SVA Rose Petal Preserve according to his ancient ayurvedic family precepts, with Rosa centifolia and raw organic cane sugar. He uses natural ascorbic acid to balance the sugar molecules. In addition, he uses pectin which micro-encapsulates the sugar molecules, so that they do not rush into your blood stream and give you a sugar high. Pectin also modulates the sugar molecules to give sustained release into the body.

But you can introduce more rose into your life for other benefits as well. Rose does much more than sooth the emotions. Here is our list of the top 11 Properties of the queen of flowers:

1. Pacifies Vata and Pitta Dosha: Since it carries the sweet and unctuous properties, it pacifies Vata dosha  – the sweet rasa, or taste, pacifies vata. The rose’s snigdha or unctuous property also balances vata, since vata that tends to be dry. Any dravya or item that has the unctuous lubricating guna or property is pacifying to vata. Then due to its cooling virya or potency, as well as bitter and astringent taste, it is pacifying for Pitta dosha.

2. Enhances brain health: rose is known to be a medhya, that is, it enhances  dhi dritti smriti. These are the 3 primary functions of the brain for the actions of registering, storing and recalling knowledge and information. When they are operating in a balanced and coordinated manner, the brain is in a stress-free state of bliss.

3. Uplifts spiritually: A unique property rose has is called “Som Nasya Janana.” This means that rose creates good coordination between the mind and Satwa, the light of the soul, so it’s an instant bliss generator!

4. Strengthens the stomach: according to Ayurveda, rose is balakarika, meaning it strengthens the stomach, intestine and liver organ systems. Bala means strength. In addition, due to its deepana properties, it balances appetite. It is also pachana – it enhances overall metabolism.

5. It is anulomana: it  helps pacify apana vata by making sure the downward movement of apana is maintained – make note, however, that it does not act as a laxative, unless you consume excessively large quantities of rose. When consumed in small but regular quantities, it enhances absorption of nutrients.

6. Balances the metabolism: consuming rose petal products is particularly beneficial when people have high pitta and high vata imbalances. These imbalances are also usually associated with low agni or low metabolic fire in the stomach and tissues. Low agni results in toxic build-up, weight gain, body aches and pains, etc. Eating rose will pacify these two doshas and help reset the physiology on its way to blissful balance.

7. Supports everlasting youth: Rose is also known by the name “taruni” – ever young. Because it pacifies pitta dosha, soothes our emotions, supports the metabolic fires, aids in elimination, and acts as a hridya – rasayana for the heart – it is commonly known to help keep us younger and healthier.

8. A Great Pitta Pacifier: Other specific ailments that Rose has been known to help with are amenorrhea (absence of menstrual flow), inflamed eyes, dizziness, headache due to Pitta aggravation, sore throat, enlarged tonsils, nervousness, grief, dullness of the skin and acne caused by Pitta imbalances.

9. Nurtures and Supports Beautiful Skin: Whether ingested orally or applied transdermally, Rose is used in Ayurveda for individuals who experience heat or burning sensations in their limbs, or their body overall. This is one of the most important uses of rose for the skin. When taken internally, it purifies the sweat of hot acidic toxins that cause harm on the surface of the skin when a person sweats. Regular transdermal use of rose either in poultices or cream formulas cleans the sweat externally, by neutralizing the pH of the sweat, so that when it is released through the skin, it does not cause irritation.

10. Helps Heart Health: In Ayurveda, rose is also used as a remedy for the physical circulatory system. It is a cardio-tonic, called a “hridya.”

11. Enhances Romance: Rose is also known for its vajikarna properties: we find a lot of recipes in Ayurveda that use Rose to enhance as a remedy to support romantic conjugal life.

Rose is great for vata and pitta doshas. Kapha body types may feel they do not fare so well with too much rose. They can use less of it, however, if they want to enjoy the rose petal preserve, they can sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper on top.

Here’s to more of everything turning up roses in your life!

Sweet & Spicy broccoli with Protein

Ingredients

8 oz of chopped or sliced broccoliphoto 4

2 oz of cubed paneer (or if you are not vegetarian, boiled/cooked chicken breast pieces)

2 oz of chopped celery

½ teaspoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon ghee (or grape-seed oil)

1 teaspoon of olive oil

Soma salt per tastephoto 3

1 tablespoon of SVA Mango Orange Chutney

6 leaves of sweet basil

1 teaspoon of shredded ginger

1 green chili (optional)

½ teaspoon of Pitta Garcinia Masala (you can also use any masala of your choice – Vata or Kapha Garcinia Masala, or Mum’s Masala, or regular Pitta masala, etc)

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Prep

Step 1:photo 2

Melt the ghee in your stainless steel pan (if you are using grape-seed oil warm it for a few seconds before adding other ingredients) then add the:

Turmeric

Shredded ginger

Garcinia masala

the Thai chili (if you are using one)

Sauté altogether on medium flame stirring for 3-4 minutes.

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Step 2:

Add your paneer (or chicken) cubes and coat them with all the spices and sauté for 5-8 minutes.

 

 

Step 3:photo 7

Once your protein is well coated with the spices and has cooked some, add your broccoli and celery and mix all the ingredients together well.

Then cover and let cook for 8-10 minutes on medium to low heat. You can add 1 tablespoon water if your base is too dry so as not to burn your mixture.

When your vegetables are a bright green color:

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Step 4:photo 9

 

Dilute your tablespoon of the SVA Sweet Orange Mango chutney with a little water in a bowl and add to your dish and mix it in thoroughly. Then add the chopped sweet basil leaves, cover and turn off the heat and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.

 

Step 5:

You can sprinkle a few drops of olive oil on top and your dish is ready to serve. You can serve with a side of steamed rice, or quinoa, or Vaidya’s favorite: the mix of 50% rice with 50% quinoa. Enjoy!

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